Fright Night: 2 1/2 out of 5
Fright Night seems to be a relatively welcome, albeit rather unnecessary re-make. Or maybe I’m just feeling old.
I mean, the original was released in 1985. That’s not that long ago. Why, I probably still have a VHS copy of it kicking around somewhere. Shoot, I remember seeing it at the Skyway drive-in, where…
Whoa, wait. VHS? Drive-in? Yeah…okay, it’s official. I’m old.
Nevertheless, the re-boot of Fright Night is a lot of a fun. It’s nowhere near the camp classic of 26 summers ago (confirmed…old), but the lead bloodsucker, played by Colin Farrell, carries enough bite to get the job done – and done pretty well.
Now, that’s the good news. The bad news – if you’re at all craving the nostalgic buttons the original Fright Night pushed…after all, it was a nifty Valentine to Hollywood’s cheesy vampire classics…you’re likely to be disappointed.
The new Fright Night, despite borrowing the basic blueprint and the character’s names, isn’t much of an homage to B-movie chills. Come to think of it, this flick owes more to the formulaic Disturbia than anything else. But maybe, considering its fresh-faced target audience, that’s not such an awful thing.
Oh, and the really, really, really great thing? None of these vampires sparkle.
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) plays Charley, the teen who suspects that his new next door neighbour, (Farrell), is a creature of the night, so he recruits a “professional” vampire hunter to assist him.
In the first Fright Night, the character of Peter Vincent was a television horror host, one of the more wonderful performances from the late Roddy McDowall. Here, Vincent is an alcoholic Las Vegas showman, in a cornball but enjoyable turn by Harry Potter’s David Tennant, who lives above a casino, surrounded by vampire slaying artifacts that he picked up off eBay.
To suggest that, at some point, the fanged one will pay Vincent’s pad a visit, thus suffering an onslaught of sharp toys, isn’t a spoiler – on a playing field like this, it’s a certainty.
Again, Farrell is superb, cocky, menacing. In short, he’s a hoot, and he alone makes Fright Night worthwhile. Sure, it’s predictable, a wee bit murky and lazy, especially on the home stretch. But I’ve seen vampire movies that suck, and Fright Night doesn’t suck. Much.
The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.